Awareness, Knowledge and Attitude towards Breast Self-examination: A Cross-sectional Study among Female Pharmacy Students in Malaysia
International Research Journal of Oncology,
Aim: The aim of this study was 1) to assess awareness and knowledge towards breast cancer (BC) and breast self examination (BSE) among female pharmacy students in Malaysia. 2) to assess attitude towards practise of BSE among female pharmacy students in Malaysia and 3) to understand the association between awareness, knowledge and attitude towards breast self examination among socio-demographic variables.
Study Design: Cross sectional study.
Place and Duration of Study: Female students from Faculty of Pharmacy, AIMST University, Kedah State, Malaysia between September, 2018 and May, 2019.
Methodology: A pre-validated questionnaire containing socio-demographic details of the study participants, six awareness based items regarding breast cancer (BC), fourteen knowledge based items regarding breast self-examination (BSE) and fifteen attitude based items towards BSE behaviour. The questionnaire was distributed in class room setting after obtaining informed consent forms signed by participants. Summary statistics for categorical variables was used with chi-square test to see if there was any association between the variables.
Results: The overall response rate was 92% (183/200). The average age of participants was 22 years (22.8 ± 1.1). Nearly 82% were Chinese, 30% belonged to year-4 tertiary education, 12% had family history of BC and 45% were from town areas. The overall awareness of the participants towards BC was moderate (64%, P < .05), whereas, knowledge towards BSE was poor (51%, P < .05). There was an overall positive attitude (62%, P < .001), followed by 29% neutral and only 9% with negative attitude regarding BSE practise. There were no association found between awareness, knowledge and attitude among any socio-demographic variables.
Conclusion: This study results confirm that the study participants had a fair awareness, poor knowledge and positive attitude. Educational interventions directed to help young women familiarize with their breast self awareness (detect changes early) to start a lifetime habit of breast self-care, including BSE is important. Health education programs tailored to educate the correct BSE techniques are essential to encourage and improve women practise BSE for early identification and treatment initiation to reduce morbidity and mortality of BC.
- breast cancer
- breast self examination
How to Cite
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DOI: 10.1186/ s12889-016-2793-7
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